Comparing Tradition and Change in Amy Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club

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Tradition and Change in The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club

Throughout the novels The Kitchen God's Wife and The Joy Luck Club, author Amy Tan conveys the message of tradition and change. Each novel contains sections about mothers talking and relating their stories to their daughters. The daughters in The Joy Luck Club hear stories about loss and happiness, and joy and hate. Each of the four mothers tell these stories to their daughters as lessons, or offerings for their futures. They tell the stories to show how lucky their daughters have been, yet how their lives will never be the same as their own lives have been. They try to help their daughters on some level with these stories. Yet they comprehend the
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Yet, with even more consistency, she will view her mother with irritancy or sadness. "On the surface, Winnie's ways are more irritating than mysterious to the daughter." (Yglesias) Even in the first sentence the reader lays eyes on, Pearl demonstrates these grievances she harbors, "Whenever my mother talks to me, she begins the conversation as if we were already in the middle of an argument." (Tan, 3) and further in her segments of the novel, she indicates quite a few "problems" she has with her mother. Similarly, Tan also has these problems with her mother "Tan felt that she had disappointed her mother when she dropped out of medical school..."(Feng) "I secretly worried that I had missed better opportunities. My mother had put those thoughts in my head." (Tan, 8) "To this day, it drives me crazy, listening to her various hypothesis, the way religion, medicine and superstition all merge with her own beliefs." (Tan, 27) Yet, sadly, Pearl also says that "there's a lot I don't know about my mother." (Tan, 53) Through these silent criticisms of her mother, Pearl "assigns herself a critical perspective on her mother's life."(Yglesias)

The daughters relate to readers that their perceptions of their mother's traditions and culture, even though those perceptions might be different than the ones the mothers hoped toconvey, have

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